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Memories of young men gone too soon

When Mike Beavers reflects on what Memorial Day means to him, he thinks of young people—especially the young Marines he met while he was flying transport planes.

The retired Air Force colonel shared the podium with his stepdaughter, Mathews County supervisor Amy Dubois, during Sunday afternoon’s Memorial Day service, sponsored by American Legion Post 83 and its Auxiliary and held at the post headquarters in Hudgins.

Beavers recalled his missions flying those very young Marines to Okinawa to acclimate themselves to the climate before being shipped “in country” into Vietnam. Later, he was assigned to fly supplies and cargo into Saigon. There was very little to take out of Vietnam, except for “body pieces.”

“This struck me so hard,” he said, as it caused him to think back on those young men, so full of life, he had earlier flown to Okinawa. “They gave everything they had,” he said, “and their families suffered … a...

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